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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Anglican Communion

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop of the worldwide Anglican Communion - a first among equals (“primus inter pares”) amongst fellow bishops. 

At the dedication of St Matthew Cathedral, Diocese of Renk, Sudan, February 2006The Anglican Communion is the third largest international denomination, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. It has over 80 million members, spread across 38 Provinces in 164 countries. Each of these Provinces is autonomous, with its own system of governance and senior archbishop or bishop ("Primate"). The Communion is not held together by a formal constitution or international church law, but rather by a shared heritage and what are termed "bonds of affection", by formal "Instruments of Communion" and through the Archbishop of Canterbury acting as a unique focus of unity. This sense of common identity has been nourished over many years by direct encounter and companion relationships at many levels. The Archbishop of Canterbury plays a leading role in nurturing the interdependent life of the Communion by visiting Provinces, convening meetings, facilitating initiatives, contributing to theological reflection and exercising a pivotal role within the Instruments of Communion.

See also: The Archbishop in the Anglican Communion: An Historical Note

Recent items relating to Anglican Communion are shown below:

June 2011

Archbishop – faith is about ‘making a difference’
20 June 2011
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, spent some time at a church and community mobilisation…

Archbishop dedicates site of first Anglican University in Kenya
20 June 2011
At a large gathering in Kanyuambora for a celebration of the new site for the first Anglican University…

Archbishop's sermon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nakuru Diocese, Kenya
19 June 2011
In a sermon for the Celebration Eucharist for the 50th Anniversary of Nakuru Diocese, Kenya, the Archbishop…

Archbishop arrives in Kenya
18 June 2011
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, arrived in Nairobi on Saturday 18th June at the start…

Archbishop to visit Congo and Kenya
17 June 2011
The Archbishop of Canterbury is to embark on a pastoral visit to the Anglican Church in Eastern Congo…

March 2011

Archbishop's Lent letter 2011
12 March 2011
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has written a Lent letter addressed to the Primates…

Archbishop's prayers for the people of Japan
11 March 2011
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has sent a message of condolence to the Anglican Archbishop…

February 2011

Archbishop's prayers in aftermath of New Zealand earthquake
23 February 2011
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has written to the Bishop of Christchurch, the Rt Revd…

November 2010

Archbishop's Presidential Address - General Synod November 2010
23 November 2010
In his first Presidential Address to the new Synod, the Archbishop of Canterbury urges members to recognise…

October 2010

The Hindu interview: Dialogue for me is recognition of the serious
18 October 2010
The hour-long interview was given to P. Jacob, Senior Associate Editor of The Hindu, at the CSI Centre…

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